Dear Imagine Friends & Community,
We miss the fun days of everyone playing happily for hours at Imagine. We truly appreciate all your support over the years!
It is with great sadness that we must share that our community space is in danger of closing permanently as, unfortunately, we are beyond our limit to sustain the huge costs of ongoing expenses while facing the uncertainties of the pandemic with our doors closed. We have been seeking other solutions without success.
We are tremendously encouraged that the community is interested in preserving this special place in some form for the days when we can safely open again. Please also understand that we will have to operate in a substantially changed manner while the pandemic is still a concern.
The facility costs make up the vast majority of our ongoing expenses, as we have a large space in a high rent neighborhood. Any funds you can contribute will go a long way to preserving and sustaining Imagine. If we must leave the building we currently occupy, the funds will help to cover the substantial costs of moving and closing in a sudden manner, as well as the possibility of re-opening at a later date, likely in a different building, and with consideration of an appropriate time to do so with pandemic concerns in mind.
We are unaccustomed to asking for help, especially at a time when so many people are in need. However, in this urgent situation we must extend the opportunity for the community to rally to sustain our unique space for future use. Without the community we serve, there would be no Imagine.
We would love to both "Save Imagine" for families to enjoy, and hear your input about the changing times and relevant use of the space. All options will be considered - so if you have an idea of something that may work, please share it now, before it is too late!
We are forever grateful for your participation and support of Imagine over the years. Donating funds of any amount you feel comfortable with will be a wonderful contribution to help Imagine serve the community in the future.
We actually need a lot of action this week in order to preserve our space. If you know anyone who may be interested in helping, please share this widely.
Very best wishes,
Amy & Imagine Friends!
Future use of Imagine:
Busy cold or rainy days and big birthday parties may simply be a thing of the past. Part of remaining open is finding a new way of operating that both serves the communities current needs and pays our expenses. We would love to hear your input about what we can do that would be helpful in the community.
Of course we would have to take all precautions including extreme sanitation measures for the entire space, wearing masks, partitioning areas for social distancing, sanitizing toys after each use and many other proactive measures.
One option we are considering:
A Work / Play Space: Parents could come with the intention of working since many are working from home and do not have child care. There would be desks in each delineated play zone so the the child would remain close enough for supervision and the parent could actually concentrate on work with the child happily engrossed in an engaging educational environment. Imagine could be partitioned into play zones, with as few as one family in each zone so that everyone would be socially distanced. There would be complete disinfecting between guests. It would cost more per visit, but do you think this would be of interest? For example: children would play in the tiny town zone , farm zone or preschool zone while their parent either joins them or sits comfortably at the work desk in that same zone to supervise and work. Both active play and calm play would be available in each zone for a wide variety of play experiences.
Would folks prefer a toy lending library option or bags of children's books and activities for loan curbside?
Alternatively, do you know of someone looking to sublet at reasonable rates during the pandemic?
What other ideas do you have?
We hope you can join us to "Save Imagine, " and would love to hear your input! All options will be considered - so if you have an idea of something that may work, please share it now, before it is too late!
A Little About Imagine
Imagine Playspace has served the greater Boston Community and beyond for about 7 years being open every day of the year before the pandemic hit. For those unfamiliar with us, Imagine is in a lovely huge two story facility including an entire play town (grocery, doctor's office, fire department, cafe, theater, school, international library) in a comfortable homey setting upstairs and a playground downstairs with a lovely outdoor shipyard as well. Please find photos and information at www.ImagineCambridge.com We have truly enjoyed all the special celebrations and children's milestones as families have participated in the educational play environment that participants speak of fondly as being quite unique. It would be very sad to see it close. If you are able to contribute monetarily, or help in any way it would be greatly appreciated. We would love for families to be able to continue enjoying this unique space for many years to come! Your participation will make a huge difference in allowing Imagine to survive the pandemic in some form.
- Timothy Pantoja
- Alexandra Lawrence
- Elizabeth Epstein
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